Friday, June 15, 2007


mortality swallowed up by life

2 Corinthians 5:1 For we know that if our earthly house, a tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 And, in fact, we groan in this one, longing to put on our house from heaven, 3 since, when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. 4 Indeed, we who are in this tent groan, burdened as we are, because we do not want to be unclothed but clothed, so that mortality may be swallowed up by life.

The passion for life beyond death is universal. It is not by any means confined to one group or one tribe, one people, or one nation. It is forever universal among all mankind. For centuries and centuries and centuries, men looked at those hieroglyphics, the papyri wrappings around the mummies in Egypt, and wondered what they meant, that picture writing.
In 1799, there was discovered the Rosetta Stone at the mouth of the Nile, near Alexandria. And, the three languages on that Rosetta Stone, now in the British Museum, opened the possibility of deciphering those hieroglyphics.
And, when they deciphered it, the found that those papyri belonged to The Book of the Dead, and described the hope of the Egyptian that he would live beyond the grave.
The same kind of a story is true of the cuneiform tablets and inscriptions. That's the wedge writing of the Sumerians and the ancient Assyrians. They saw those inscriptions everywhere, and they dug those cuneiform tablets everywhere, but they couldn't decipher them.
And, in 1846, a scholar deciphered the great cuneiform inscription on the Behistun Rock in western Iran, ancient Persia. And, the whole vista of that ancient Assyrian culture was opened to modern view.
And, what was it about? It was the hope of those ancient people for a life beyond the grave.
When we read the literature of the ancient Greek and Roman, and look at their statuary, it is a depiction of a life beyond the grave. The Gaelic warrior was buried with his armor. He would need it in the land and life to come. And, the painted American Indian was laid to rest with his bow and his arrow. He would need it in the hunting ground of the world that is to come. There is no tribe or family, however degraded, in the heart of Africa or in the Patagonian kingdom, but that exhibits to the world that same hope that, somehow, there is life beyond the grave.
It was Plato the Greek philosopher who said “Oh that there was some certain word upon which we could launch our hope cross this vast sea of death.”
That hope and that certain word is in Jesus Christ, our risen Lord: I am the resurrection, and the life; he that liveth and believeth in me shall never, ever die. In 2 Timothy 1:10, the Apostle Paul wrote: Our Lord has brought life and immortality to light.
Mortaility swallowed up by life!
John 11: 25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in Me, even if he dies, will live. 26 Everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die—ever. Do you believe this?”
1. WOW mortality swallowed up by life.1 Cor 15:42 So it is with the resurrection of the dead: Sown in corruption, raised in incorruption; 43 sown in dishonor, raised in glory; sown in weakness, raised in power; 44 sown a natural body, raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 45 So it is written: The first man Adam became a living being; the last Adam became a life-giving Spirit. 46 However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural; then the spiritual. 47 The first man was from the earth and made of dust; the second man is from heaven. 48 Like the man made of dust, so are those who are made of dust; like the heavenly man, so are those who are heavenly. 49 And just as we have borne the image of the man made of dust, we will also bear the image of the heavenly man.
50 Brothers, I tell you this: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, and corruption cannot inherit incorruption.
Recently you will have noticed a large number of shops in our town no longer open for business. Driving past some buildings I saw a sign in the window which read: “Closed For Repairs.” The owner had suspended his business relations with the public long enough to renovate the store. After about two months the store will be reopened with many changes. This is a picture of the death of the believer. He moves out of the body until it has been repaired and renovated, when, at the resurrection, the inward man shall move into his renewed body.
These old things are passed away, all of them. Sickness here and pain and hurt and broken-heartedness and sorrow and tearing and crying and weeping and tears and, finally, death here: But here shall be no more death, neither sorrow nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain, for these things are all passed away.
Here, we burn with fever and finally fall in the chilling clasp of death and decay and corruption. There is the forever soul's Summerland, and there shall be no more death.
Here, we live in a dissolving tabernacle, a decaying body. But, there, we shall have a house, a body not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
Here, we live in a cottage or a temporary house. But, there, we shall have the mansion Jesus is preparing for those who love Him.
Here, we live in an aging, decaying city. There, we shall live in the New Jerusalem, with its golden streets and its pearly gates, renewed through the millennia of forever and forever.
Here, we look through a glass darkly, but, there, face to face. Here, reason and understanding is a spark. There, it shall burst into a full-orbed flame: Then shall I know even as God knows me. We'll understand. We'll understand.
Here, our song is but a note. There, it swells into a glorious symphony.
Here, we eat on a crust. There, we shall sit down at the banquet table of the Lord. As the old-time song says, Christ Himself shall gird us and feed us with manna all around.
Here, the tree bears fruit once a year. There, the tree bears twelve manners of fruit each month full, abundant.
Here, we drink at a broken cistern. There, we shall drink at the river of the water of life and live forever.

Some unbelieving skeptics have proposed the argument that it will be impossible for the same body to be raised since the bodies of those who have been dead for hundreds of years have become decomposed into integrant parts; that is, reduced to powder. They add that those elements which composed one body may have become a part of other bodies. For example, a dead body deteriorates. Over the grave of that body a tree may grow, having fed its roots on the elements of the dead body. If the fruit of that tree is eaten by other men, the elements of the decomposed and deteriorated body in the grave become a part of other men’s bodies. They conclude that it is an impossibility to raise the same body atom for atom.
God anticipated this problem. We read: “But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come?” (1 Corinthians 15:35) To answer this, the Apostle, by the Holy Spirit, uses the illustration of a farmer sowing grain. When a farmer drops a kernel of grain into the ground, he knows that when the seed dies or seemingly rots away, that does not mean the end of his efforts. He knows that one seed will come forth into a fuller life, producing a stalk with several ears bearing many hundreds of kernels like the one he planted. The actual seed that was planted he does not see. Yet there is absolute identity. It is the same with the resurrection of our bodies. “That which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die; And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain. But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased Him, and to every seed his own body” (1 Corinthians 15:36-38).
It will not be necessary for God to use every part of this body when he raises it from the grave. Such a thought is not taught in Scripture. In fact, it is scientifically true that the component parts of our bodies undergo periodical changes. We are told that through the change of elements, we receive new bodies every seven years. We may not be conscious of the change. Nevertheless we have not the same body today that we had seven years ago. There is an identity that we maintain all our lifetime, and yet there is not one cell in our bodies that was there seven years ago. In the resurrection the bodies of the saints will bear their individual identities. Dr. Wilbur M. Smith has said: “The fact that after death our physical substance disintegrates and scatters, creates no difficulties for God, so that He could not bring those bodies back gloriously transformed.” By the new birth we are born again into the Kingdom of God, a Kingdom that can never break down or disintegrate. Because sin can never enter, there is no danger of corruptibility. The resurrection will be the occasion when our bodies become incorruptible and will inherit the Kingdom of God.
It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption (1 Corinthians 15:42).
For this corruptible must put on incorruption (1 Corinthians 15:53).
Death is written on the face of all that is alive. The moment we begin to live we commence to die. The report of the birth of a new baby guarantees the digging of a new grave. The preacher of wisdom wrote: “The strong men shall bow themselves, and the grinders cease because they are few, and those that look out of the windows be darkened . . . man goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets . . . Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was, and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it” (Ecclesiastes 12:3, 5, 7). This is a picture of the body of corruption. Its destiny is death, decay, and dissolution. But if we are to have bodies in Heaven, we must have bodies that are free from corruption. This is exactly the kind of body that Christ will give us when He comes. It was buried in corruption, but it will be raised in incorruption. We have some idea of an incorruptible body in the scene on the Mount of Transfiguration. Moses and Elijah both appeared with Christ. Moses had died fifteen hundred years before. Yet he was there recognizable in a glorious body. Elijah had been caught up to Heaven without dying about nine hundred years before, and he too was there in a glorified body. Our resurrection will clothe us with bodies where disease and sickness will never enter. No pain, no weakness, no fever will touch our resurrection bodies. “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away” (Revelation 21:4).
From Dishonour to Glory
It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory (1 Corinthians 15:43).
The body that is put in the grave is sown in dishonour. The average Christian sadly neglects his body, failing to realize that it is the temple of the Holy Spirit. Proper care of the body is far more the exception than it is the rule. The bodies of some Christians have been broken and diseased by sin before the persons ever came to a knowledge of truth. The drinking of intoxicating liquors, the use of tobacco, and other sins of the body have brought to the body dishonour. Some do not get enough rest, while others injure the body through laziness and inactivity. Some persons overeat regularly while others mistreat the body by not eating the right kind of food. It is the opinion of the writer that the majority of people are guilty of not giving the body its required care. It is sown in dishonour. But our resurrection bodies will be raised in glory. We shall be like Jesus, in the brightness of His glory. O glorious hope!
From Weakness to Power
It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power (1 Corinthians 15:43).
It is believed that the Apostle Paul was frail in body, afflicted with “a thorn in the flesh.” Weak bodies have their limitations, and many of us can testify as to how the work of the Lord often is hampered by bodily limitations. The tasks we seek to perform become wearisome by reason of the infirmities of the flesh. But in Heaven we shall know nothing of physical weakness. The limitations of earth are not known in Heaven. What a glorious change that will be! Raised in power! Here on earth we find that the spirit sometimes is willing, but the flesh is weak. Some of God’s choice saints cannot as much as attend a church service because of bodily affliction, but in Heaven all will have strong bodies. The new body will be a habitation from God, incorruptible, immortal, and powerful.
From the Natural to the Spiritual
It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body (1 Corinthians 15:44).
It must be clearly understood that the phrase “a spiritual body” does not so much as infer that the resurrection body will be a body without substance. The word “natural” is from a word used by the Greeks when they spoke of the soul of man. We pointed out earlier in this volume how that man was made of three component parts: body, soul, and spirit. In the physical he possesses world-consciousness through his five senses. With his soul, which is the seat of his emotions, he possesses self-consciousness, thereby having knowledge that he is a personality. By his spirit, he is enabled to know God and to worship and serve Him after his human spirit has been quickened by the Holy Spirit. Our bodies while on earth are natural or soulish bodies and are engaged chiefly with the activities and the environment of earth. By nature it becomes easily adjusted to work and play. The spiritual life is not absent altogether from man, but it occupies a small part of his time and energy as compared with his soul life.
When the resurrection body is called “a spiritual body,” it is not meant that it will be composed of intangible substance. Robert S. Candlish has said: “The words natural and spiritual, as applied to the body, have respect not so much to the nature of the substance of which the body is composed, as to the uses or purposes which it is intended to serve.” On earth we are occupied to a greater degree with the natural body, while in Heaven in our resurrection bodies we will be occupied with all that pertains to God and godliness. The spiritual life of man will prevail.
2. Why will mortality swallowed up by life.
We sing : Up from the grave He arose With a mighty triumph o’er His foes.
He arose a king over the vast domain And He lives forever with His saints to reign.
He arose, He arose, Hallelujah, Christ arose.
We remember the words of Jesus John 11:21: Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee. Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again. Martha saith unto Him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life; he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live; And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never, never, ever die.
The resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ profoundly affects all those who have believed in Him. The reason is that we are united to Him the moment we believe in Him.
Ephesians 2 speaks of our spiritual resurrection Eph2:4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: 7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
Because we believe in Him, we are united to Him. He has raised us from spiritual death to spiritual life. It is inconceivable that He who was raised to physical life from physical death should ever go back to it again. Likewise it is inconceivable that we who have believed on Him and have shared a spiritual resurrection should not also share in His physical resurrection. 1 Corinthians 15:20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. 21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming. 24 Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. 25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.
If you have believed in the Lord Jesus and become a partaker of Him in Spiritual resurrection, so you shall partake of the physical resurrection.
3. When will mortality swallowed up by life.Gray’s, Elegy Written in the Country Churchyard:
The boast of heraldry, The pomp of power All that beauty, And all that wealth e’er gave,
Awaiteth alike, the inevitable hour; The paths of glory lead but to the grave.

But there is another inevitable hour. It is the hour, the minute the second, the twinkling of an eye, when the Lord Jesus Christ shall return.
1 Cor 15:51 Listen! I am telling you a mystery: We will not all fall asleep, but we will all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we will be changed. 53 Because this corruptible must be clothed with incorruptibility, and this mortal must be clothed with immortality. 54 Now when this corruptible is clothed with incorruptibility, and this mortal is clothed with immortality, then the saying that is written will take place: Death has been swallowed up in victory.55 O Death, where is your victory? O Death, where is your sting? 56 Now the sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!
4. How will mortality swallowed up by life.Phil 3:20 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: 21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself
20 but our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. 21 He will transform the body of our humble condition into the likeness of His glorious body, by the power that enables Him to subject everything to Himself.
The Lord Jesus Christ shall “change our vile body” (Philippians 3:21) we read. The word “change” means to transfigure. It has been suggested that we have here the thought of metamorphosis which is a remarkable change in the form and structure of a living body. When our Lord took Peter, James, and John up into the Holy Mountain, we read that “He was transfigured before them” (Matthew 17:2). Christ appeared during that brief period of time in His glorified body. He was transfigured (or metamorphosed) before them. It was a body like His post-resurrection body when He appeared to His disciples behind shut doors (John 20:19). The change of the believer at the resurrection has to do with his body, wherein resides the sin principle, for even the Christian must admit, “I know that in me (that is in my flesh) there dwelleth no good thing” (Romans 7:18). The word “change” could not refer to the spiritual part of man, for, as Kenneth Wuest says: “The word ‘change’ is the translation of a Greek word which speaks of an expression which is assumed from the outside, which act brings about a change of outward expression.”
Biologically speaking, the change of a caterpillar into a butterfly is spoken of as a “metamorphosis.” The ugly, repulsive caterpillar is confined to a tomb which it spins for itself. While in the cocoon there is an apparently dead and formless substance. But after the warm sun of spring has beaten its golden rays upon that cocoon, there comes forth a beautiful butterfly. Though the butterfly is different in appearance from the caterpillar, we recognize the beautiful winged insect as being the same as the caterpillar. It is the same living creature, yet different. So also is the resurrection of the body. Now we have a vile body (or a body of humiliation). The Apostle James calls it a “low” body, “because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away” (James 1:10). The body of Adam, in its original state, was provided with a covering of glory, but when sin entered the covering of glory was replaced with a covering of humiliation. In our present bodies of humiliation we are unfit for the glories of Heaven and God’s presence, but hopefully we look for our Lord’s return when He shall fashion our bodies of humiliation like unto His own body of glory. It will be the same body in that it will be recognizable, but wonderfully changed.
Do you have a part in this resurrection?
Will you be rasied to immortality.
Will your mortality be swallowed up by life? or by death?
You may choose the the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour today and experience a spiritual resurrection right now.
John 5 And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years.
6 When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole?
The Saviour says the same thing to you today.
Wilt thou be made whole? Wilt thou receive Him as Saviour and experience spiritual resurrection now, and physical resurrection hereafter?
Jeuss said John 5:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.
This can be yours today!
For remember 28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, 29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.
What will you do with this Jesus? Receive Him today!

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Free Hit Counter